Korean Air breaks ground on new engine maintenance cluster, aims to boost MRO capabilities


Korean Air has begun construction on a new aircraft engine maintenance cluster near Incheon International Airport, with plans to open the facility in 2027. The airline states that the complex will be the largest of its kind in Asia and will significantly enhance its engine maintenance capabilities and MRO (maintenance, repair, and overhaul) business.

“The engine is like the heart of the airplane,” said Walter Cho, Chairman and CEO of Korean Air, at the groundbreaking ceremony. “Korean Air pledges to uphold the highest standards of safety and is committed to elevating Korea’s competitive edge in a highly specialized sector of aviation.”

The 578 billion won (approximately 440 million USD) facility will span over 140,000 square meters and will be constructed by Kolon Global. It will be strategically located next to Korean Air’s existing Engine Test Cell (ETC), which has been operational since 2016.

This new cluster will centralize engine maintenance operations, currently split between the airline’s Bucheon facility and the Unbuk ETC. This consolidation is expected to improve efficiency and streamline processes.

Korean Air also plans to expand its engine maintenance capacity significantly, from servicing 100 engines annually to 360. The airline currently overhauls six engine models and will add three more, including GE’s GEnx and CFMI’s LEAP-1B, to its portfolio. Additionally, the airline is exploring the possibility of servicing engines for Asiana Airlines.

The new maintenance cluster is expected to create over 1,000 jobs, contributing to the growth of the domestic aviation MRO industry and reducing reliance on international services.

Korean Air has been overhauling aircraft engines since 1976 and has earned airworthiness certifications from numerous domestic and international authorities, including the Korean Federal Aviation Administration, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

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